4 Ways Biometric Technology Is Changing Our Lives
We have seen biometrics on a steady rise in tech for quite some time now, ranging from home security devices all the way to our ID documents and smartphones. And whereas several years back you would expect to scan your fingerprints at the police station, these days lots of us do it on the daily basis just to get into our contact list on the phone.
So where else is biometric technology used and what is the prognosis for its further advance throughout our devices?
The first thing that comes to mind is something that we have already mentioned – security. That’s true, biometric technology has made its way into a number of security gadgets – mostly, in the form of fingerprint scanners. So, as more and more offices are happily investing in advanced security, we are seeing more fingerprint locks, fingerprint attendance systems and other devices, making office security and management more personalized. It makes perfect sense, as biometrics and security seem to be pretty much made for each other.
However, physical protection is by far not the only category in which biometrics show potential – and we have already seen and will see even more of its application in various areas of life.
We have actually already seen biometrics in action on social media, like Facebook, in the form of facial recognition. Remember the times when you could tag your friends’ faces in pictures? That was that. Since then, the feature has been disabled in most European countries for privacy reasons, but has since returned to the US as a selective feature for photos between friends.
Payments seem to be the next big thing in biometrics, as a number of companies have voiced their interest in biometric-based payment systems – Apple and PayPal being among the group. China is also planning to launch an app that will authorize payments by facial recognition – and all the users will need to do is snap a selfie to make a payment online.
Some biometrics uses are a bit more extravagant. Known as “eyeball selfie”, you have probably already seen eye recognition software in spy movies and the like – but the technology has actually been around for quite a while – but, just like in the movies, mostly for high-security venues. However, that may also change soon with EyeVerify – a company that promises to bring the “eyeball selfie” into the public eye (pun intended) for personal banking purposes.
Advertising has not missed its chance with biometrics either and there have been multiple attempts to make biometric advertising more popular. One of the first companies to take the idea seriously was Tesco, when they introduced their biometric-powered ads in their petrol stations in the UK involving OptimEyes technology. To a passer-by the ad would look just like any other, but the screens, featuring face-detection software, could tell the age and gender of the customers looking at them, as well as the location and time of day. So the “Big Brother” may be watching – but, at least, it’s to find out how to please potential customers better.
Last, but definitely not least, we have something called behaviometrics, pioneered by companies like BioCatch and Behaviosec. Software, manufactured by these innovators, can analyze your typical computer behavior (like typing patterns, mouse movements, etc.) and a build a profile. The software can then use the collected data to determine whether it’s you using your account or there is an intruder, trying to get to your personal data.
It is getting pretty clear, that biometrics, and any methods of recognition, associated with the technology, are strongly moving into various areas of our lives – and we may see even more exciting applications in the future.